Baylor Taking Steps To Accommodate Large Freshman Class

June 7, 2005

by Lori Fogleman (254) 710-6275

As Baylor University anticipates the largest and most academically qualified freshman class in the university's 160-year history, faculty and staff members are taking necessary steps this summer to accommodate students in several areas, including on-campus housing and dining, course availability, financial aid and financial settlement, and parking.

Current projections from Baylor's Office of Institutional Research and Testing indicate a record-breaking freshman class of more than 3,100 students entering in fall 2005. Baylor's previous record freshman enrollment occurred in fall 1998, when 2,938 students entered the university. Enrollment management officials also report that this fall's expected freshman class is on pace with last year's record SAT average of 1190 and also is the most diverse incoming class in university history. Baylor's minority freshman population was 30.3 percent in fall 2004.

After receiving an overwhelming number of applications and deposits, enrollment management officials closed the freshman class on May 3, and created a waiting list for students who continue to be interested in attending Baylor.

"Having a freshman class this size presents several challenges, but they are challenges we can solve by making every effort to ensure that these new students have a first-year Baylor experience that compares favorably to previous classes," said Dr. Reagan M. Ramsower, acting vice president for finance and administration. "It's very encouraging that a Baylor education is in such high demand, and likewise, Baylor faculty and staff are collectively committed to providing our new and continuing students with a great Baylor experience."

To open up additional on-campus housing for incoming freshmen, the university is working with returning students to accommodate them in other Baylor-owned housing or through other off-campus arrangements. The university also is approving all requests for an exemption to the residency requirement when a student desires to live with their parents. Seating also has been increased in the various dining halls to handle the large fall class.

To help incoming freshmen prepare for their first semester, Baylor has increased the number of orientation sessions to 10, and has hired additional academic advisers to help students select classes and develop academic plans. The first orientation session will be held June 15-16, with additional sessions running through July 1. Additional sections for high-demand freshman courses are being added for the fall. The university also is encouraging the full use of classrooms to accommodate the increase in class sections and labs.

To help students and their families complete financial settlement before fall classes begin, Baylor has communicated with students and parents about a new financial settlement process. The procedure requires registration bills be settled, or a down payment made, no later than August 16, five days before school starts on Aug. 22.

With the opening of the East campus and Dutton parking facilities, Baylor's campus currently has a total of 10,140 parking spaces for students. Last spring, the university issued 9,259 student parking permits for those on-campus and remote parking spaces. To accommodate additional student parking, vehicle registration permits will be available for purchase during orientation sessions for new students. Baylor University Shuttle (B.U.S.) routes also are being adjusted to provide efficient on-campus/off-campus transportation service.

Baylor will welcome new freshmen to campus on Aug. 18, as students move their belongings into Baylor residence halls. Welcome Week will be held Aug. 18-21. Fall classes will begin on Monday, Aug. 22.

Fall Enrollment Statistics from Fall 1998-Fall 2004

Institutional Research and Testing, Baylor University

1998

Total enrollment 12,987 (record)

Freshman class 2,938 (record)

1999

Total enrollment 13,329 (record)

Freshman class 2,772 - note: average SAT score was 1169, up from 1166 in 1998. Minority enrollment among freshmen 22.3 percent.

2000

Total enrollment 13,719 (record)

Freshman class 2,832 - note: average SAT score up to 1175

2001

Total enrollment 14,221 (record)

Freshman class 2,801 - note: average SAT score up to 1176

2002

Total enrollment 14,159

Freshman class 2,620 - note: average SAT score up to 1180

2003

Total enrollment 13,937

Freshman class 2,678 - note: average SAT score 1179

2004

Total enrollment 13,799

Freshman class 2,785 - note: average SAT score was a record 1190. Minority student population 30.3 percent, up from 25.5 percent in 2003. Record number of applications of 10,971, yielding an acceptance rate of 72.4 percent, compared with 81.9 percent in 2003.

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